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A pharmacopoeia, pharmacopeia, or pharmacopoea (from the obsolete typography ''pharmacopœia'', meaning "drug-making"), in its modern technical sense, is a book containing directions for the identification of compound
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...

medicine
s, and published by the authority of a government or a medical or
pharmaceutical A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug used to medical diagnosis, diagnose, cure, therapy, treat, or preventive medicine, prevent disease. Drug therapy (pharmacotherapy) ...
society. Descriptions of preparations are called
monograph A monograph is a specialist work of writing (in contrast to reference work A reference work is a work, such as a book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It pro ...

monograph
s. In a broader sense it is a
reference work A reference work is a work, such as a book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeri ...
for pharmaceutical drug specifications.


Etymology

The term derives from grc, φαρμακοποιία ''pharmakopoiia'' "making of (healing) medicine, drug-making", a compound of φάρμακον ''pharmakon'' "healing medicine, drug, poison", the verb ποιεῖν ''poiein'' "to make" and the abstract noun suffix -ία ''-ia''. In early modern editions of
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
texts, the Greek
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
οι (''oi'') is
latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisation in the Soviet Union, the campaign in the USSR during the 1920s and 1930s to replace traditional writing sy ...
to its Latin equivalent ''oe'' which is in turn written with the
ligature Ligature may refer to: * Ligature (medicine), a piece of suture used to shut off a blood vessel or other anatomical structure ** Ligature (orthodontic), used in dentistry * Ligature (music), an element of musical notation used especially in the med ...
''œ'', giving the spelling ''pharmacopœia''; in modern
UK English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective ''wee'' is almost exclusively us ...
, ''œ'' is written as ''oe'', giving the spelling ''pharmacopoeia'', while in American English ''oe'' becomes ''e'', giving us ''pharmacopeia''.


History

Although older writings exist which deal with herbal medicine, the major initial work in the field is considered to be the
Edwin Smith Papyrus The Edwin Smith Papyrus is an ancient Egyptian medical text, named after Edwin Smith who bought it in 1862, and the oldest known surgical treatise A treatise is a formal Formal, formality, informal or informality imply the complying with, or ...
in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
,
Pliny Pliny may refer to: People from antiquity * Pliny the Elder (AD 23–79), ancient Roman nobleman, scientist, historian, and author of ''Naturalis Historia'' (''Pliny's Natural History'') * Pliny the Younger (died 113), ancient Roman statesman, ...

Pliny
's pharmacopoeia. A number of early pharmacopoeia books were written by Persian and Arab physicians. These included ''
The Canon of Medicine ''The Canon of Medicine'' ( ar, القانون في الطب, italic=yes ''al-Qānūn fī al-Ṭibb''; fa, قانون در طب, italic=yes, ''Qanun-e dâr Tâb'') is an encyclopedia of medicine in five books compiled by Persian physician-phi ...

The Canon of Medicine
'' of
Avicenna Ibn Sina ( fa, ابن سینا), also known as Abu Ali Sina (), Pur Sina (), and often known in the West as Avicenna (;  – June 1037), was a Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia' ...

Avicenna
in 1025 AD, and works by
Ibn Zuhr Abū Marwān ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Zuhr ( ar, أبو مروان عبد الملك بن زهر), traditionally known by his Latinized name Latinisation (or Latinization) of names, also known as onomastic Latinisation, is the practice of rendering ...
(Avenzoar) in the 12th century (and printed in 1491), and
Ibn Baytar
Ibn Baytar
in the 14th century. The Shen-nung pen ts'ao ching (Divine Husbandman's Materia Medica) is the earliest known Chinese pharmacopoeia. The text describes 365 medicines derived from plants, animals, and minerals; according to legend it was written by the Chinese god
Shennong Shennong (), variously translated as "Divine Farmer" or "Divine Husbandman", was a mythological Chinese ruler who has become a deity in Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republ ...

Shennong
. Pharmacopeial synopsis were recorded in the
Timbuktu manuscripts #REDIRECT Timbuktu Manuscripts A manuscript page from Timbuktu showing a table of astronomical information Timbuktu Manuscripts (or Tombouctou Manuscripts) is a blanket term for the large number of historically important manuscripts that have bee ...
of
Mali Mali (; ), officially the Republic of Mali (french: République du Mali; bm, ߡߊߟߌ ߞߊ ߝߊߛߏߖߊߡߊߣߊ, Mali ka Fasojamana, ff, 𞤈𞤫𞤲𞥆𞤣𞤢𞥄𞤲𞤣𞤭 𞤃𞤢𞥄𞤤𞤭, Renndaandi Maali, ar, جمهورية م ...
.


China

The earliest extant Chinese pharmacopoeia, the ''
Shennong Ben Cao Jing ''Shennong Bencaojing'' (also ''The Classic of Herbal Medicine'' and ''Shen-nung Pen-tsao Ching''; ) is a China, Chinese book on agriculture and medicinal plants, traditionally attributed to Shennong. Researchers believe the text is a compilation ...
'' was compiled between 200-250 AD. It contains descriptions of 365 medications. The earliest known officially sponsored pharmacopoeia was compiled in 659 AD by a team of 23 pharmaceutical scientists led by Su jing during the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
(618-907 AD) and was called the ''Xinxiu Bencao'' (Newly Revised Canon of Materia Medica). The work consists of 20 volumes with one dedicated to the table of contents, and 25 volumes of pictures with one volume dedicated to the table of contents. A third part consisting of seven volumes contained illustrated descriptions. The text contains descriptions of 850 medicines with 114 new ones. The work was used throughout
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
for the next 400 years.


City pharmacopoeia origins

A dated work appeared in
Nuremberg Nuremberg ( ; german: link=no, Nürnberg ; in the local East Franconian dialect: ''Nämberch'' ) is the second-largest city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, and its 518,370 (2019) inhabitants ...

Nuremberg
in 1542; a passing student
Valerius Cordus Valerius Cordus (18 February 1515 – 25 September 1544) was a German physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English), medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a ...

Valerius Cordus
showed a collection of medical prescriptions, which he had selected from the writings of the most eminent medical authorities, to the physicians of the town, who urged him to print it for the benefit of the
apothecaries :''"Apothecary" may also refer to Pharmacy (shop) A pharmacy (also called "drugstore" in American English or "community pharmacy" or "chemist" in Commonwealth English, or rarely, apothecary) is a retail shop which provides pharmaceutical drugs ...
, and obtained the sanction of the
senatus The Senate was the governing and advisory assembly of the aristocracy in the ancient Roman Republic. It was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls A consul is an official representative of the government of on ...
for his work. A work known as the ''Antidotarium Florentinum'', was published under the authority of the college of medicine of
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Al ...

Florence
in the 16th century. In 1511, the ''Concordie Apothecariorum Barchinone'' was published by the Society of Apothecaries of
Barcelona Barcelona ( , , ) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within ci ...

Barcelona
and kept in the School of
Pharmacy Pharmacy is the clinical health science The following Outline (list), outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to health sciences: Health sciences – are those sciences which focus on health, or health care, as core p ...

Pharmacy
of the
University of Barcelona The University of Barcelona ( ca, Universitat de Barcelona, UB; ; es, link=no, Universidad de Barcelona) is a public university located in the city of Barcelona Barcelona ( , , ) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the ca ...

University of Barcelona
. The term ''Pharmacopoeia'' first appears as a distinct title in a work published at
Basel , french: link=no, Bâlois(e), it, Basilese , neighboring_municipalities= Allschwil , neighboring_municipalities= Baselland (BL), Binningen, Switzerland, Binningen, Buschwiller (FR-68), Hégenheim (FR-68), Neuwiller (FR-68), Oberwil, Basel- ...

Basel
, Switzerland, in 1561 by A. Foes, but does not appear to have come into general use until the beginning of the 17th century. Before 1542, the works principally used by apothecaries were the treatises on simples (basic medicinal ingredients) by
Avicenna Ibn Sina ( fa, ابن سینا), also known as Abu Ali Sina (), Pur Sina (), and often known in the West as Avicenna (;  – June 1037), was a Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia' ...

Avicenna
and Serapion; the ''De synonymis'' and ''Quid pro quo'' of Simon Januensis; the ''Liber servitoris'' of Bulchasim Ben Aberazerim, which described preparations made from plants, animals, and minerals, and was the type of the chemical portion of modern pharmacopoeias; and the ''Antidotarium'' of Nicolaus de Salerno, containing
Galenic formulationGalenic formulation deals with the principles of preparing and compounding medicines in order to optimize their absorption. Galenic formulation is named after Claudius Galen, a 2nd Century AD Greek physician, who codified the preparation of drugs u ...
s arranged alphabetically. Of this last work, there were two editions in use — Nicolaus magnus and Nicolaus parvus: in the latter, several of the compounds described in the large edition were omitted and the formulae given on a smaller scale. Also
Vesalius Andreas Vesalius (; 31 December 1514 – 15 October 1564) was a 16th-century Flemish Flemish (''Vlaams'') is a Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolizatio ...

Vesalius
claimed he had written some "''dispensariums''" and "''manuals''" on the works of
Galenus Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus ( el, Κλαύδιος Γαληνός; September 129 CE – /), often Anglicization, Anglicized as Galen and sometimes known as Galen of Pergamon (), was a Ancient Greeks, Greek physician, surgeon and Philosophy, ...

Galenus
. Apparently he burnt them. According to recent research communicated at the congresses of the
International Society for the History of Medicine The International Society for the History of Medicine is a non profit international society devoted to the academic study of the history of medicine, including the organization of international congresses. The Society was founded in 1920 in Belgium ...
by the scholar Francisco Javier González Echeverría,1998 "The book of work of Michael Servetus for his Dioscorides and his Dispensarium"(Le livre de travail de Michel Servet pour ses Dioscorides et Dispensarium) and "The Dispensarium or Enquiridion, complementary of the Dioscorides of Michael Servetus" ( The Enquiridion, L’oeuvre Le Dispensarium ou Enquiridion complémentaire sur le Dioscorides de Michel Servet) González Echeverría, in: Book of summaries, 36th International Congress on the History of Medicine, Tunis (Livre des Résumés, 36ème Congrès International d’Histoire de la médicine, Tunis), 6–11 September 1998, (two comunicacions), pp. 199, 210. Michel De Villeneuve (
Michael Servetus Michael Servetus (; es, Miguel Serveto as real name; french: Michel Servet; also known as ''Miguel Servet'', ''Miguel de Villanueva'', ''Revés'', or ''Michel de Villeneuve''; 29 September 1509 or 1511 – 27 October 1553) was a Spanish th ...

Michael Servetus
) also published a pharmacopoeia. De Villeneuve, fellow student of
Vesalius Andreas Vesalius (; 31 December 1514 – 15 October 1564) was a 16th-century Flemish Flemish (''Vlaams'') is a Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolizatio ...

Vesalius
and the best
galen Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus ( el, Κλαύδιος Γαληνός; September 129 – c. AD 216), often Anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modi ...
ist of Paris according to
Johann Winter von Andernach Johann Winter von Andernach (born Johann Winter; 1505 – 4 October 1574) was a German Renaissance physician, university professor, Humanism, humanist, translator of ancient, mostly medical works, and writer of his own medical, philological and huma ...

Johann Winter von Andernach
, published the anonymous " 'Dispensarium or Enquiridion''" in 1543, at
Lyon Lyon or Lyons (, , ; frp, Liyon, ) is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, Rodano ; frp, Rôno ; oc, ...

Lyon
, France, with Jean Frellon as editor. This work contains 224 original recipes by De Villeneuve and others by Lespleigney and Chappuis. As usual when it comes to pharmacopoeias, this work was complementary to a previous
Materia Medica ''Materia medica'' ( lit.: 'medical material/substance') is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''co ...
that De Villeneuve published that same year. This finding was communicated by the same scholar in the
International Society for the History of Medicine The International Society for the History of Medicine is a non profit international society devoted to the academic study of the history of medicine, including the organization of international congresses. The Society was founded in 1920 in Belgium ...
, with agreement of John M. Riddle, one of the foremost experts on
Materia Medica ''Materia medica'' ( lit.: 'medical material/substance') is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''co ...
-
Dioscorides Pedanius Dioscorides ( grc-gre, Πεδάνιος Διοσκουρίδης, ; 40–90 AD) was a Greek physician, pharmacologist, botanist, and author of ''De materia medica'' (, On Medical Material) —a 5-volume Greek encyclopedia about herbal m ...

Dioscorides
works.
Nicolaes Tulp Nicolaes Tulp (9 October 1593 – 12 September 1674) was a Dutch surgeon and mayor of Amsterdam. Tulp was well known for his upstanding moral character and as the subject of Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, also , ; 15 July 1606&n ...

Nicolaes Tulp
, mayor of
Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, 1,558,755 in the City Region of Amsterdam, urban ar ...

Amsterdam
and respected surgeon general, gathered all of his doctor and chemist friends together and they wrote the first pharmacopoeia of Amsterdam named ''Pharmacopoea Amstelredamensis'' in 1636. This was a combined effort to improve public health after an outbreak of the
bubonic plague Bubonic plague is one of three types of plague caused by the plague bacterium Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of biological cell The cell (from Latin ''cella'', meaning "small room") is the basic ...
, and also to limit the number of quack apothecary shops in Amsterdam.


London

Until 1617, such drugs and medicines as were in common use were sold in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
by the apothecaries and grocers. In that year the apothecaries obtained a separate charter, and it was enacted that no grocer should keep an apothecary's shop. The preparation of physicians’ prescriptions was thus confined to the apothecaries, upon whom pressure was brought to bear to make them dispense accurately, by the issue of a pharmacopoeia in May 1618 by the
College of PhysiciansA college of physicians is a national or provincial organisation concerned with the practice of medicine Medicine is the Art (skill), art, science, and Praxis (process) , practice of caring for a patient and managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Prev ...
, and by the power which the wardens of the apothecaries received in common with the censors of the College of Physicians of examining the shops of apothecaries within 7 m. of London and destroying all the compounds which they found unfaithfully prepared. This, the first authorized
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
Pharmacopoeia, was selected chiefly from the works of Mezue and Nicolaus de Salerno, but it was found to be so full of errors that the whole edition was cancelled, and a fresh edition was published in the following December. At this period the compounds employed in medicine were often heterogeneous mixtures, some of which contained from 20 to 70, or more, ingredients, while a large number of simples were used in consequence of the same substance being supposed to possess different qualities according to the source from which it was derived. Thus crabs’ eyes (i.e.,
gastrolith A gastrolith, also called a stomach stone or gizzard stone, is a rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the mineral ...
s), pearls, oyster shells, and
coral Corals are marine invertebrates Marine invertebrates are the invertebrates that live in marine habitats. Invertebrate is a blanket term that includes all animals apart from the vertebrate members of the chordate phylum. Invertebrates lack a ver ...
were supposed to have different properties. Among other ingredients entering into some of these formulae were the excrements of human beings, dogs, mice, geese, and other animals, calculi, human skull, and moss growing on it, blind puppies,
earthworm An earthworm is a terrestrial invertebrate that belongs to the phylum Annelida. They exhibit a tube-within-a-tube body plan A body plan, ''Bauplan'' (German plural ''Baupläne''), or ground plan is a set of morphological features common to man ...

earthworm
s, etc. Although other editions of the London Pharmacopoeia were issued in 1621, 1632, 1639, and 1677, it was not until the edition of 1721, published under the auspices of Sir
Hans Sloane Sir Hans Sloane, 1st Baronet (16 April 1660 – 11 January 1753), was an Anglo-Irish Anglo-Irish () is a term which was more commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is ...

Hans Sloane
, that any important alterations were made. In this issue many of the remedies previously in use were omitted, although a good number were still retained, such as dogs’ excrement, earthworms, and
moss Mosses are small, non-vascular flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom Cherry blossoms in Paris in full bloom. In botany, blossoms are the flowers of stone fruit fruit tree, trees (genus ''Prunus'') and of some other plant ...

moss
from the human skull; the botanical names of herbal remedies were for the first time added to the official ones; the simple distilled waters were ordered of a uniform strength; sweetened spirits,
cordial Cordial may refer to: Food and drink * Liqueur, an alcoholic beverage * Cordial (candy), a type of candy that has a liquid filling inside a chocolate shell * Cordial (medicine), a medicinal beverage * Squash (drink), a non-alcoholic fruit drink con ...
s and
ratafia Ratafia is a broad term used for two types of sweet alcoholic beverages, a flavouring essence whose taste resembles bitter almonds, later to a ratafia flavoured biscuit, a biscuit to be eaten along with ratafia, and later still, to a cherry vari ...
s were omitted as well as several compounds no longer used in London, although still in vogue elsewhere. A great improvement was effected in the edition published in 1746, in which only those preparations were retained which had received the approval of the majority of the pharmacopoeia committee; to these was added a list of those drugs only which were supposed to be the most efficacious. An attempt was made to simplify further the older formulae by the rejection of superfluous ingredients. In the edition published in 1788 the tendency to simplify was carried out to a much greater extent, and the extremely compound medicines which had formed the principal remedies of physicians for 2,000 years were discarded, while a few powerful drugs which had been considered too dangerous to be included in the Pharmacopoeia of 1765 were restored to their previous position. In 1809 the French chemical nomenclature was adopted, and in 1815 a corrected impression of the same was issued. Subsequent editions were published in 1824, 1836, and 1851. The first ''
Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia The ''Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia'' was a medical guide consisting of recipes and methods for making medicine. It was first published by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 1699 as the ''Pharmacopoea Collegii Regii Medicorum Edimburgensium ...

Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia
'' was published in 1699 and the last in 1841; the first'' Dublin Pharmacopoeia'' in 1807 and the last in 1850.


National pharmacopoeia origins

The preparations contained in these three pharmacopoeias were not all uniform in strength, a source of much inconvenience and danger to the public, when powerful preparations such as dilute
hydrocyanic acid Hydrogen cyanide, sometimes called prussic acid, is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical ...
were ordered in the one country and dispensed according to the national pharmacopoeia in another. As a result, the Medical Act of 1858 ordained that the
General Medical Council The General Medical Council (GMC) is a public body that maintains the official register of medical practitioners A health professional (or healthcare professional) may provide health care Health care, health-care, or healthcare is the mainte ...
should publish a book containing a list of medicines and compounds, to be called the ''
British Pharmacopoeia The ''British Pharmacopoeia'' (''BP'') is the national pharmacopoeia A pharmacopoeia, pharmacopeia, or pharmacopoea (from the obsolete typography ''pharmacopœia'', literally, "drug-making"), in its modern technical sense, is a book containi ...
'', which would be a substitute throughout Great Britain and Ireland for the separate pharmacopoeias. Hitherto these had been published in Latin. The first British Pharmacopoeia was published in the English language in 1864, but gave such general dissatisfaction both to the medical profession and to chemists and druggists that the General Medical Council brought out a new and amended edition in 1867. This dissatisfaction was probably owing partly to the fact that the majority of the compilers of the work were not engaged in the practice of pharmacy, and therefore competent rather to decide upon the kind of preparations required than upon the method of their manufacture. The necessity for this element in the construction of a pharmacopoeia is now fully recognized in other countries, in most of which pharmaceutical chemists are represented on the committee for the preparation of the legally recognized manuals. There are national and international pharmacopoeias, like the EU and the U.S. pharmacopoeias. The pharmacopeia in the EU is prepared by a governmental organization, and has a specified role in law in the EU. In the U.S., the USP-NF (United States Pharmacopeia – National Formulary) has been issued by a private non-profit organization since 1820 under the authority of a Convention that meets periodically that is largely constituted by physicians, pharmacists, and other public health professionals, setting standards published in the compendia through various Expert Committees. In the U.S. when there is an applicable USP-NF quality monograph, drugs and drug ingredients must conform to the compendial requirements (such as for strength, quality or purity) or be deemed adulterated or misbranded under the Federal food and drug laws.


Supranational and international harmonization

The
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
had a nominally supranational pharmacopoeia, the State Pharmacopoeia of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSRP), although the
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
nature of the nationality of republics within that state differed from the
de jure In law and government, ''de jure'' ( ; , "by law") describes practices that are legally recognized, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, ("in fact") describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally ...
nature. The
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
has a supranational pharmacopoeia, the
European Pharmacopoeia The ''European Pharmacopoeia'' (''Pharmacopoeia Europaea'', ''Ph. Eur.'') is a major regional pharmacopoeia which provides common quality standards throughout the pharmaceutical industry in Europe Europe is a continent A continent ...
; it has not replaced the national pharmacopoeias of EU member states but rather helps to harmonize them. Attempts have been made by international pharmaceutical and medical conferences to settle a basis on which a globally international pharmacopoeia could be prepared, but regulatory complexity and locoregional variation in conditions of pharmacy are hurdles to fully harmonizing across all countries (that is, defining thousands of details that can all be known to work successfully in all places). Nonetheless, some progress has been made under the banner of the International Council on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH), a tri-regional organisation that represents the drug regulatory authorities of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...
,
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...
, and the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
. Representatives from the Pharmacopoeias of these three regions have met twice yearly since 1990 in the Pharmacopoeial Discussion Group to try to work towards "compendial harmonisation". Specific monographs are proposed, and if accepted, proceed through stages of review and consultation leading to adoption of a common monograph that provides a common set of tests and specifications for a specific material. Not surprisingly, this is a slow process. The
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the co-ordinating machinery of the Unit ...
has produced the International Pharmacopoeia (Ph.Int.), which does not replace a national pharmacopoeia but rather provides a model or template for one and also can be invoked by legislation within a country to serve as that country's regulation.


Medical preparations, uses, and dosages

Though formerly printed there has been a transition to a situation where pharmaceutical information is available as printed volumes and on the
internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

internet
. The rapid increase in knowledge renders necessary frequent new editions, to furnish definite formulae for preparations that have already come into extensive use in medical practice, so as to ensure uniformity of strength, and to give the characters and tests by which their purity and potency may be determined. However each new edition requires several years to carry out numerous experiments for devising suitable formulae, so that current pharmacopoeia are never quite up to date. This difficulty has hitherto been met by the publication of such non-official formularies as ''Squire's Companion to the Pharmacopoeia'' and '' Martindale: The complete drug reference'' (formerly ''Martindale's: the extra pharmacopoeia''), in which all new remedies and their preparations, uses and doses are recorded, and in the former the varying strengths of the same preparations in the different pharmacopoeias are also compared (Squire's was incorporated into Martindale in 1952). The need of such works to supplement the Pharmacopoeia is shown by the fact that they are even more largely used than the Pharmacopoeia itself, the first issued in 18 editions and the second in 13 editions at comparatively short intervals. In the UK, the task of elaborating a new Pharmacopoeia is entrusted to a body of a purely medical character, and legally the pharmacist does not, contrary to the practice in other countries, have a voice in the matter. This is notwithstanding the fact that, although the medical practitioner is naturally the best judge of the drug or preparations that will afford the best therapeutic result, they are not as competent as the pharmacist to say how that preparation can be produced in the most effective and satisfactory manner, nor how the purity of drugs can be tested. The change occurred with the fourth edition of the British Pharmacopoeia in 1898. A committee of the
Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great BritainThe Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) existed from its founding as the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 1841 until 2010. The word "Royal" was added to its name in 1988. It was the statutory regulatory and professional b ...
was appointed at the request of the
General Medical Council The General Medical Council (GMC) is a public body that maintains the official register of medical practitioners A health professional (or healthcare professional) may provide health care Health care, health-care, or healthcare is the mainte ...
to advise on pharmaceutical matters. A census of prescriptions was taken to ascertain the relative frequency with which different preparations and drugs were used in prescriptions, and suggestions and criticisms were sought from various medical and pharmaceutical bodies across the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
. As regards the purely pharmaceutical part of the work a committee of reference in pharmacy, nominated by the pharmaceutical societies of Great Britain and Ireland (as they were then), was appointed to report to the Pharmacopoeia Committee of the Medical Council. Some difficulty has arisen since the passing of the Adulteration of Food and Drugs Act concerning the use of the Pharmacopoeia as a legal standard for the drugs and preparations contained in it. The Pharmacopoeia is defined in the preface as only "intended to afford to the members of the medical profession and those engaged in the preparation of medicines throughout the British Empire one uniform standard and guide whereby the nature and composition of, substances to be used in medicine may be ascertained and determined". It cannot be an encyclopaedia of substances used in medicine, and can be used only as a standard for the substances and preparations contained in it, and for no others. It has been held in the Divisional Courts (Dickins v. Randerson) that the Pharmacopoeia is a standard for official preparations asked for under their pharmacopoeial name. But there are many substances in the Pharmacopoeia which are not only employed in medicine, but have other uses, such as
sulphur Sulfur (in nontechnical British English: sulphur) is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: th ...

sulphur
,
gum benzoin Benzoin or benjamin (corrupted pronunciation) is a balsamic resin obtained from the bark of several species of trees in the genus ''Styrax''. It is used in perfumes, some kinds of incense, as a flavoring, and medicine (see tincture of benzoin). I ...
,
tragacanth Tragacanth is a natural gum obtained from the dried sap of several species of Middle Eastern Fabaceae, legumes of the genus ''Astragalus'', including ''Astragalus adscendens, A. adscendens'', ''Astragalus gummifer, A. gummifer'', ''Astragalus br ...

tragacanth
,
gum arabic '', pictured in a medicinal handbook: Franz Eugen Köhler, ''Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen'' (1887) Gum arabic, also known as ''gum sudani'', acacia gum, Arabic gum, gum acacia, acacia, Senegal gum, ''Indian gum'', and by other names, is a natur ...
,
ammonium carbonate Ammonium carbonate is a salt with the chemical formula (NH4)2CO3. Since it readily degrades to gaseous ammonia and carbon dioxide upon heating, it is used as a leavening agent In cooking Cooking, cookery, or culinary arts is the art, sc ...

ammonium carbonate
,
beeswax Beeswax (''cera alba'') is a natural wax Waxes are a diverse class of organic compound In , organic compounds are generally any s that contain - . Due to carbon's ability to (form chains with other carbon s), millions of organic c ...

beeswax
, oil of
turpentine Turpentine (which is also called gum turpentine, spirit of turpentine, oil of turpentine, wood turpentine, terebenthene, terebinthine and (colloquially) turps) is a fluid obtained by the distillation Distillation, or classical distillation, ...
,
linseed oil Linseed oil, also known as flaxseed oil or flax oil (in its edible form), is a colourless to yellowish oil obtained from the dried, ripened seeds of the flax Flax, also known as common flax or linseed, is a flowering plant, ''Linum usitatissimu ...
, and for these a commercial standard of purity as distinct from a medicinal one is needed, since the preparations used in medicine should be of the highest possible degree of purity obtainable, and this standard would be too high and too expensive for ordinary purposes. The use of trade synonyms in the Pharmacopoeia, such as saltpetre for purified
potassium nitrate Potassium nitrate is a chemical compound with the chemical formula . It is an ionic salt of potassium ions K+ and nitrate ions NO3−, and is therefore an alkali metal nitrate. It occurs in nature as a mineral, niter (or nitre in the UK). It is a ...

potassium nitrate
, and milk of sulphur for precipitated sulphur, is partly answerable for this difficulty, and has proved to be a mistake, since it affords ground for legal prosecution if a chemist sells a drug of ordinary commercial purity for trade purposes, instead of the purified preparation which is official in the Pharmacopoeia for medicinal use. This would not be the case if the trade synonym were omitted. For many drugs and chemicals not in the Pharmacopoeia there is no standard of purity that can be used under the Adulteration of Food and Drugs Act, and for these, as well as for the commercial quality of those drugs and essential oils which are also in the Pharmacopoeia, a legal standard of commercial purity is much needed. This subject formed the basis of discussion at several meetings of the Pharmaceutical Society, and the results have been embodied in a work called ''Suggested Standards for Foods and Drugs'' by C. G. Moor, which indicates the average degree of purity of many drugs and chemicals used in the arts, as well as the highest degree of purity obtainable in commerce of those used in medicine. An important step has also been taken in this direction by the publication under the authority of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain of the ''
British Pharmaceutical Codex {{Unreferenced, date=May 2007 The British Pharmaceutical Codex (BPC) was first published in 1907, to supplement the '' British Pharmacopoeia'' which although extensive, did not cover all the medicinal items that a pharmacist might require in dail ...
'' (BPC), in which the characters of and tests for the purity of many unofficial drugs and preparations are given as well as the character of many glandular preparations and antitoxins that have come into use in medicine, but have not yet been introduced into the Pharmacopoeia. This work may also possibly serve as a standard under the Adulteration of Food and Drugs Act for the purity and strength of drugs not included in the Pharmacopoeia and as a standard for the commercial grade of purity of those in the Pharmacopoeia which are used for non-medical purposes. Another legal difficulty connected with modern pharmacopoeias is the inclusion in some of them of synthetic chemical remedies, the processes for preparing which have been patented, whilst the substances are sold under trade-mark names. The scientific chemical name is often long and unwieldy, and the physician prefers when writing a prescription to use the shorter name under which it is sold by the
patent A patent is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depe ...

patent
ees. In this case the pharmacist is compelled to use the more expensive patented article, which may lead to complaints from the patient. If the physician were to use the same article under its pharmacopoeial name when the patented article is prescribed, they would become open to prosecution by the patentee for infringement of patent rights. Hence the only solution is for the physician to use the chemical name (which cannot be patented) as given in the Pharmacopoeia, or, for those synthetic remedies not included in the Pharmacopoeia, the scientific and chemical name given in the ''British Pharmaceutical Codex''.


List of national and supranational pharmacopoeias

In most of the
New Latin New Latin (also called Neo-Latin or modern Latin) is the revival of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, know ...
names, ''Pharmacopoea'' is the more common spelling, although for several of them, ''Pharmacopoeia'' is common.


See also

*
British Pharmacopoeia The ''British Pharmacopoeia'' (''BP'') is the national pharmacopoeia A pharmacopoeia, pharmacopeia, or pharmacopoea (from the obsolete typography ''pharmacopœia'', literally, "drug-making"), in its modern technical sense, is a book containi ...
*
Erowid Erowid, also called Erowid Center, is a 501(c)(3) A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, or other type of organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States ...
*
European Pharmacopoeia The ''European Pharmacopoeia'' (''Pharmacopoeia Europaea'', ''Ph. Eur.'') is a major regional pharmacopoeia which provides common quality standards throughout the pharmaceutical industry in Europe Europe is a continent A continent ...
*
International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use The International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) is an initiative that brings together regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical industry to discuss scientific and technical aspects of ph ...
(ICH) *
International Pharmaceutical Federation The International Pharmaceutical Federation or Fédération Internationale Pharmaceutique, abbreviated as FIP, is an international federation of national organisations that represent pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. It was founded in 19 ...
*
International Plant Names Index The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) describes itself as "a database In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algor ...
*
Japanese Pharmacopoeia The is the official pharmacopoeia A pharmacopoeia, pharmacopeia, or pharmacopoea (from the obsolete typography ''pharmacopœia'', literally, "drug-making"), in its modern technical sense, is a book containing directions for the identification o ...
*
National Formulary At its most basic level, a formulary is a list of medicines A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug File:Aspirine macro shot.jpg, Uncoated aspirin Tablet (pharmacy), t ...
*
Pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China The ''Pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China'' (PPRC) or the ''Chinese Pharmacopoeia'' (ChP), compiled by the Pharmacopoeia A pharmacopoeia, pharmacopeia, or pharmacopoea (from the obsolete typography ''pharmacopœia'', literally, "drug- ...
*
Specification A specification often refers to a set of documented requirements to be satisfied by a material, design, product, or service. A specification is often a type of technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or require ...
*
Standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose primary function is developing, coordinating, promulgating, revising, amending, reissuing, interpr ...
*
The International Pharmacopoeia ''The International Pharmacopoeia'' (''Pharmacopoeia Internationalis'', ''Ph. Int.'') is a pharmacopoeia issued by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, speci ...
*
United States Pharmacopeia The ''United States Pharmacopeia'' (''USP'') is a pharmacopeia A pharmacopoeia, pharmacopeia, or pharmacopoea (from the obsolete typography ''pharmacopœia'', literally, "drug-making"), in its modern technical sense, is a book containing dire ...
*
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the co-ordinating machinery of the Unit ...


References


Bibliography

*


External links


Pharmacopoeial Discussion Group

Medicines Compendium

Pharma Knowledge Park


Website with graphical study of the pharmacopoeia ''Dispensarium'' by Michael Servetus


Pharmacopoeia, List of Pharmacopeia 2021
{{Authority control Medical manuals